There’s no gainsaying that the slang ¨Kukere” has taken the Nigeria music industry and its fans by storm with its ethnic vibes and Etighi-inspiring dance moves. As such, Iyanya, the 2008 winner of MTN’s Project Fame has been at the forefront of the movement, slowly climbing back into limelight and winning unimaginable fan base within a short space of time. In this interview with our News Editor Faith Irabor, he spoke about the idea behind the music, his new lifestyle and relationship with Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson.
You seem to be on top of your game now since you rebranded, what instigated that idea?
It’s music you know and change is constant, that’s why we just have to keep changing because we cannot be the same for 5 years. I am versed in the genre of R&B and Soul but this first big hit came when I switched to Afro-Pop/Dance with “Kukere” as suggested by my manager, Ubi Franklin.
Iyanya‘s “Kukere” video dropped about 5 months ago and already has over 2 million views on Youtube how does that make you feel?
Yeah we thank God, it feels good. (Smiles)
How true is it that you’re working on a reality TV in that regard too?
I won’t want to go into those details yet but there’s something like that going on. But the world will know when it is ripe.
What is it with your new look especially the macho thing and tattoos?
(laughs) you know this music thing need a lot of works, studio, touring, promotions and all so it’s not easy and what is worth doing is worth doing well you know. Thank God it has brought us this far.
When did you start the rebranding thing physically and why the name Iyanya?
That was last year 2011, Iyanya is my real name, that’s what people don’t know. It means to desire for something.
What does Kukere means?
Kurukere means don’t worry, don’t think
The new one we are having is Your Waist, how did you come about that?
It’s just a free style basically nothing serious and also for African women just move your waist nothing much (laughs)
Where are you from?
I’m from Calabar. I grew up in Calabar and had my education there. The only thing that brought me to Lagos was MTN Project Fame.
So what has changed about you now that you’ve kind of rebranded?
Nothing apart from my look and my bank account, I don’t think there is anything that has changed really.
What about your personality?
I’m still the same honestly, no big deal really and nothing to suddenly put up a new attitude towards my friends and fans who have been there for me over the years.
How do you find time to relax and how often do you gym?
I hardly relax because I’m always busy but any time I have I sleep. Gym is almost an everyday exercise for me because I want to remain fit for my fans.
For the sake of your fans who don’t know can you run us through your educational background?
Yea I’m a graduate of Business Management from the University of Calabar
What about your folks?
I have got lovely sisters, cousins and step mum all living in Calabar
Who’s Yvonne Nelson to you because the rumour everywhere is that you people are lovers?
Yvonne Nelson is a good friend of mine and that’s all that we share.
She was also prominent at your birthday party recently apart from mentioning her name in your latest song over and over again?
(Laughs) we are just friends nothing more.
It’s been nice chatting with you